New fic, even though I'm halfway through my Gabriel one. It had to be done and I wholeheartedly blame Punky and Lisa for this! They encouraged me and it's a little bit out of my usual comfort zone for fic. I'll explain a little bit more at the end of this chapter and doubtless this fic will go on to turn into a little bit of crack mixed in with the usual angst and bleak despair. You all should know me by now and everything. Also, I've watched Shrek far too many times for a woman of my age and it may have influenced element of this rather a lot. Never mind.

Disclaimer: Not mine, really not mine. I'm playing for giggles and my own personal amusement, the rest of you reading this enjoy it too and the only thing I get from it is reviews. Besides, if I owned it this would be an actual story arc and not my diseased mind. It's Supernatural and we all know that many things can happen on that show.

First Kiss.

Moonlight glitters on the lake, the soft hoot of an owl can be heard over the gentle lapping of barely still water. The silvery light bathes the trees in a seeming blackness that is both frightening and magical, and that line of darkness is broken for only a moment as the ghostly form of the owl swoops from tree branch to tree branch.

A figure stands beside the still water, head tilted up so that his face is turned to the stars in the clear sky above. His tan coat is washed out by the bright moon, sickly against pale skin and dark hair. Eyes that are normally brilliant, heart-stopping, blue seem darkened but the sorrow and near despair in them in terribly clear. This is a man close to the edge of losing everything, a man who would spend his time alone and despairing rather than going to friends or family. This is a man who is not a man, a being of great power trapped inside a vessel so that he may move around the members of humanity without causing them harm. This is a being who sees the darkness and the harsh nature of mankind and lets a part of him wonder why he has sacrificed so much to ensure that they were allowed to survive and do with their existence as they will. These are people who will never know what he has given to help them, these are people who will likely not care what he has given up.

None of these people are aware now of the terrible war that the occupants of Heaven now wage on one another, these are people who do not know that Castiel's rebellion and discovery of his own free will has sparked a struggle for power that will eventually decide the fate of mankind. The only one who has even an inkling of how hard things have become for this angel is Dean Winchester, and even the relationship with that man is strained and difficult now. Dean has been on his own for over a year and Castiel feels keenly that walking away and returning to Heaven, that abandoning his friend in his hour of emotional need, has been a great mistake. He thinks that he should have stayed away from Heaven for a time and supported Dean in the way that the human needed his support. Instead Castiel has ignored Dean's agonies and he wonders if his ignorance of that has been a part of the spark behind Dean's wilful ignorance of the serious nature of Castiel's position.

He stretches his wings up to the moon, the briefest flash of feathered shadows cast over the moon-black grass behind him. In the deepest recesses of his grace he can feel Dean's soul, feel the sorrow and fear of a man who has lost love due to his duty to hunting. He can feel the terror of a man who is watching and waiting for the day that the wall in Sam's mind collapses under the strain of memories of a year without a soul and the agonies of Hell. The angel is close to Sam, views the younger Winchester brother as a friend, but it is Dean that Castiel shares a bond with, Dean that Castiel will respond to without thought or question if he is able.

His moment of introspection is interrupted by the arrival of another. This is Castiel's old friend, one that he wishes he could trust and is absolutely terrified to put his entire well being into this other angel's hands. Balthazar has been an unknown element for the last few years, however, long believed dead and his choice of lifestyle a disappointment to an angel who likes to think that he has taken his actions for the most noble of reasons. They have the Heavenly weapons that Balthazar walked out with, Castiel cannot describe the relief at knowing that he now has them at his disposal. He simply needs to work out a way to use them and that is where this meeting with his friend comes in.

Or it would be, were it not for the fact that as he opens his mouth to speak Balthazar's face falls. His body becomes rigid and pain lances through him, crippling and blinding as light floods behind his eyes. The angel staggers, stumbles, and gasps as the light begins to clear. He is not by the lake any longer. The light that floods over him is bright and artificial and the sound of voices and music floods over him as a door opens and a young woman in a short skirt and t-shirt walks in. She barely glances at him as she goes into a nearby stall and locks the door behind her. He is in a ladies bathroom in an unknown bar and Castiel tries to will himself back to the lake.

Nothing happens. Only another flood of pain that leaves him doubled over and retching into a sink. A flood of emotion washes over him, frustration and anger like he has not felt since he lost all of his grace. Whatever has been done to him as rendered him human, or as close to as he is going to get. Tears prick at his eyes and he looks up from the stained porcelain to glance in the mirror.

Profanities drip from his lips that he half knows Dean would be proud to hear could he understand the Enochian they are hissed in. He watches full, soft, lips move as he speaks, hears a low and smokey voice mutter them. His hands, long fingered and delicate, reach up to touch soft black locks that now fall over his shoulders and finally he turns is eyes from the mirror and looks down at himself.

More correctly, looks down at herself.

This is a problem.

I don't normally genderbend, and I certainly don't usually play a Dean/Cas fic in this way, but Punky and Lisa both wanted to see it and it hasn't really left me alone.